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New Charter School Enrolling at St. James School Building

New Charter School Enrolling at St. James School BuildingStreet-Eatzz-Ad

(Sherry A. Wells, May 31, 2014)

The Frederick Douglass International Academy is now accepting enrollments for the fall, 2014 as it fills the former St. James School building at 22111 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale.

It is open for preschool to sixth grade and will offer music and art in addition to the Three R’s and, someday, seed024_jeannie_davis_from_lorieven fencing. It also will have a Parent University, to teach parents how to help their children achieve and succeed.

“I was the founding principal at the Academy of International Studies here in Hamtramck,” said Robert Davis, “so it’s fitting for me to be the founding principal for the Ferndale location.”

His background includes a Bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University in Public Affairs. He obtained a Master’s degree at Cornell University in Industrial and Labor Relations, which matches his work in the automotive industry in the human resources side of labor relations.

“I saw many workers inadequately prepared for the new skill set required in today’s world,” he said. “I thought I might be able to have an impact on the frontchickenscratchfever-ad-final end, so I obtained a Master’s degree in Educational Administration.”

He was an elementary classroom teacher in Detroit Public Schools for eight years. Then he became an elementary school principal for the last seven years, including at the Detroit Service Learning Academy, which during his time there, was awarded by the Michigan Department of Education as a School of Excellence, and currently at the keith dalton adAcademy of International Studies in Hamtramck.

Ferris State University is the authorizing entity for this new public school academy. Robert Rizzo, of the university, explained that the process includes a nine-page first-round application, which can grow to 23 pages with supporting documentation. Then the final application is even more extensive.

The new school has a contract with the Hanley-Harper Group, Inc., a management company, which, among other responsibilities, leases the employees to the four schools it helps manage.seed023_petcare_au_pair

“Although a management company is not required,” said Mr. Rizzo, “about 76% of the 300 charter schools in Michigan do have them, permitting the school to concentrate on the educational aspect rather than the New Harvest Homes NHHadministrative one.”

The president of the Hanley-Harper Group, Inc. is Beata Chochla, who grew up in Poland. She speaks not only Polish but also Russian, Ukrainian and English. She founded the management company “to develop the whole student for success in the global marketplace.”

Each charter school also has a board of directors, similar to a traditional district’s school board, although not elected by the public. Meetings are held at Hanley Harper Group in Harper Woods.

When asked for his reaction to a new charter school set to open soon here, Gary Meier, the Former sidebar012stairsSuperintendent of Schools for the Ferndale School District, said, while still in his position,  “Public education has become a competitive business. I believe that Ferndale Public Schools is best positioned to provide a depth and breadth of programming, resources and support for all students that charter schools cannot.” Meier recently retired suddenly when the School Board learned that Meier had created a new business and was doing side work on a charter school, and that he had hired several former Ferndale School employees to help.

“Ferndale Public Schools offers many high quality choices for discerning parents, including two new offerings this fall – the new University Middle School and the expanded Little Eagles preschool and childcare programs,” he went on. “We are proud of our rich history and many successes and will continue to build upon them in pursuit of academic excellence for every FPS student.”

Contact information for the new school is (248) 953-2003 and for enrollment and other information


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